As part of Space Lectures’ outreach program, Cundall Manor School of York invited Rick to speak to some 360 pupils. With ages ranging from 6 to 16, Rick skilfully managed to pitch what was essentially the same talk to two distinctly different groups of children.
Fast paced and packed with detail, the excitement of his personal spaceflight experience was perfectly blended within the context of the space program as a whole. What has been done to date, what is going on now and what will happen in the future. And all this from a guy who applied to be a NASA astronaut no less than nine times: that’s right… NINE times!!
His advice to the students was to excel at their studies, naturally, but also to stretch themselves and acquire a variety of skills. Whether it is playing a musical instrument, playing sports or being good with their hands, his experiences particularly on the astronaut selection board later in his career taught him that being an astronaut is not all about academia. Not surprisingly Rick’s message of perseverance coupled with a can do attitude was the overriding message the pupils took away from their astronaut encounter.